20 Annoying Things About Being an Estate Planning Attorney

March 16, 2012
3ocb73 300x199 20 Annoying Things About Being an Estate Planning Attorney

Background photo from quickmeme.com

No, for the most part, we don’t starve.  These may also have a “First World Problems” vibe as well.  But as you read the following list, maybe, just maybe, you’ll laugh and perhaps shed a tear too:

1.  The Binding Struggle
Pictured to the right.  Choices include 3-ring binders, staples, wire, coil, comb-binding, velo-binding, spiral binding, thermal binding, traditional wax seal and ribbons.  Oy gevalt!

2.  The Paparazzi
Can’t we just get a meal in peace?

3.  The Limitations
In this day and age, why is giving an estate planning seminar during Open-Mike Night at the comedy club still frowned upon?

4.  The “Mirror Effectof Fame
Constantly seeing your own face on billboards, magazine covers and posters all over the place starts to feel like you are seeing your own reflection everywhere.

5.  The Thanksgiving Holiday
Each November, many, many clients and well-wishers send full-sized turkey dinners as a “token of appreciation” to us, and it becomes quite awkward to turn them down.

6.  The Soft Drink Conglomerate
Legend has it that in this famous soda commercial from the late ‘70s, Mean Joe Greene was originally supposed to toss a package including a completed will and powers of attorney to the kid, but then “the suits” changed their minds at the last minute.

7.  The Stringent Rules
Frankly, I for one am getting tired of not being allowed to wear my “Will Power” boxers out in public.

8.  The Bling-Bling
Each morning, it’s tough to decide which gold chains, diamond pendants, platinum name belts and hip hop dog tags are most appropriate for the day.

9.  The Expectations
You should see the looks we get when we present an estate plan written in crayon.

10.  The Music
The Estate Planning Metal genre appears to be on the decline, while Credit Shelter Disco isn’t.

11.  The Confusion Between Estate Planning and Real Estate Planning
Let’s make this clear – estate planning and real estate planning are completely different (except that estate planning can involve issues such as choosing whether real estate should be owned jointly, in trust, in a closely-held LLC or FLP, etc.; assessing its value in one’s estate; calculating its tax basis; advising whether gifting during life is a viable strategy; and deciding whether or not an heir should receive it subject to an existing mortgage)!  Got it?

12.  The Bouncers
“But I do estate planning law” does not have as much pull outside exclusive night clubs as one might think.

13.  The Changing Times
Estate planning didn’t use to rely so much on cursing and “shock value”.  The estate community overall used to be edgy without being offensive, but long gone are the days when we heard insights such as “Wills wonders never cease” or “Whatever wills be will be”.

14.  The Competition
How do we compete with the various national online non-lawyer legal document drafting services who are unencumbered by professional responsibility rules that restrict advertising, in-person solicitation, and the ability to help others across state lines?

15.  The Thin Line with Popular Culture
Sure, you can write books, make movies, and even let the CDC comment on the coming apocalypse, but when you sneak a “Zombie” clause into a will, you’ve suddenly gone too far.

16.  The Printer
It is quite aggravating when the ink runs dry before all the pages of the client’s documents are printed out.

17.  The Nights on the Town
Really, what’s more important – answering a spontaneous question from a curious fellow citizen that leads to a long, deep discussion about family legacies, or letting others hear the movie?

18.  The Inability to Help Everyone
For instance, most of us have yet to draft a single document for those in the shepherding profession.

19.  The T-Shirts
Demand is shockingly low for our “If you trust in me, I’ll ‘trust’ you” and “Thy Wills Be Done” campaigns.

20.  The Subtleties
Virtually no clients have ever discovered that their estate planning documents are actually filled with secret codes passed down from the great estate planners of yesteryear that reveal the location of ancient relics hidden in …

The author was unable to finish this post due to unforeseen circumstances – there is nothing to see here – please carry on with your day.

 20 Annoying Things About Being an Estate Planning Attorney
 20 Annoying Things About Being an Estate Planning Attorney


Scott R. Zucker, Esq. is the owner of The Zucker Law Firm PLLC, located just outside the Capital Beltway in Annandale, within five miles of the City of Fairfax, the county seat of beautiful Fairfax County, Virginia. The firm focuses mainly on estate planning services for Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania clientele, and seeks to do so in an affordable and approachable way. People interested in learning more can contact Scott by phone or email.

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2 Responses to 20 Annoying Things About Being an Estate Planning Attorney

  1. March 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

    A great read to start the day! Thanks for the post.

    • Scott
      March 23, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Well thank you so much, Ms. Bishop! Such a nice comment is one of perks of being an estate planning attorney (or at least a blogger). Thanks for reading and for your kindness!

      Take care,

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